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A man reads a copy of the Cumhuriyet daily newspaper in front of the newspaper's headquarters in Istanbul during a police operation on October 31.

Turkish authorities have ordered the formal arrest pending trial of nine executives and journalists from the opposition secularist Cumhuriyet newspaper, a day after leaders of the main pro-Kurdish party were also jailed.

The nine staff include some of the most prominent names in Turkish journalism.

They are charged with links to the PKK, a Kurdish militant group and the U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for a 15 failed coup on July 15.

A total of 13 staff, including editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and cartoonist Musa Kart, were detained for questioning on October 31.

Columnists Hikmet Cetinkaya and Aydin Engin were released on judicial control due to age and health grounds, and two other suspects were released without charge.

The nine staff will be held behind bars ahead of a trial, for which no date has been set.

The arrests come amid a government crackdown on opposition voices.

On November 5, authorities arrested nine members of parliament from the opposition pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) including its co-leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag on terror charges.

Turkey’s Western allies have voiced concern over the recent arrests.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AFP, and AP
An edition of Tajikistan's Nigoh newspaper

The owners of the independent Tajik newspaper Nigoh (View) have suspended operations ahead of the outlet's 10th anniversary.

Nigoh's owner, the Indem think tank, said in a statement that it would halt printing the newspaper due to a "lack of appropriate conditions."

The statement, released earlier this week, gave no further details, adding "we can make no further comment."

Nigoh had no debts or tax arrears, reported, and its owners have pledged to continue paying its employees until 2017. reported that Nigoh was forced to close by Tajik officials unhappy with the paper's reporting about the banned Islamic Renaissance Party of Tajikistan (IRPT).

Nigoh had also previously written critical articles about the prosecution of lawyer Buzurgmehr Yorov, who was given a 23-year prison term last month for allegedly inciting social unrest and calling for the overthrow of the government.

Yorov had represented IPRT members in court and his case is seen by rights groups as being politically motivated.

Tajik officials have shut down dozens of nonstate and opposition media outlets under the authoritarian rule of President Emomali Rahmon, who has been in power for almost a quarter century.

Based on reporting by

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"Watchdog" is a blog with a singular mission -- to monitor the latest developments concerning human rights, civil society, and press freedom. We'll pay particular attention to reports concerning countries in RFE/RL's broadcast region.


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